Aria the Baker

I've FINALLY gotten my cast iron skillet cleaned out and have used it twice.  Wanna know what I made?  Of course you do.  I'll give you a hint...I made the same thing (with slight variations)...twice.  You guessed it:  the only thing I've made in my skillet so far has been a big ol' awesomely delicious cookie!

My first attempt was less than satisfactory in my opinion.  I love to bake cookies...and, not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I make a DAMN GOOD cookie!  But I'm not gonna lie, that first skillet cookie really pissed me off!  Maybe it's my fault for not knowing enough about the cooking ability of cast iron, but I can't possibly put all the blame on me, that's silly.  I blame the person who wrote the recipe.  Here's the link to the recipe I used >>  The horrible first attempt recipe.  In my opinion, this person doesn't know how to bake.  The ingredients and the methods were appropriate for regular cookies, but not one big giant cookie.  Also, that crackpot needs an oven thermometer.  You bake cookies at 350°, not 375°...so her oven obviously cooks 25° cooler than it should.  If you're going to put your recipes out there for all to see, invest in an oven thermometer so that you know that your recipe will work for everyone.  So anyway, baked for 19 minutes at 375°, the outside was overcooked and the middle was still raw (because the method was incorrect).  I got mad, threw a bit of a tantrum, and skulked off the kitchen where Dave said "how long before we can eat it?"  I told him we weren't eating it and I was going to throw it out as soon as it cooled off enough.  Instead we put it back in the oven for another 10 dang minutes.  The outside was, in my [professional baker] opinion, burnt and the middle was just finally done.  I was still mad about it.  I do NOT serve cookies that overly browned.

So we ate over the course of several days (because, well, it's a cookie and you can't not eat it) and I rinsed out my pan to try again, armed with a new recipe and a new understanding for cast iron.  Key thing about cast iron:  it's SO hot when it comes out of the oven and stays so hot for so long that things continue to cook even after they've been taken out and placed on top of a cooling rack to cool.

I tell you...second time's the charm!  The new recipe had more reasonable sounding ingredients (like MELTED butter instead of softened butter), had the right temp of 350°, and mentioned to "undercook the heck out of it" at 15-20 minutes.  That right there told me that at 20 minutes, the cookie would be underdone (it's a big help to know what sort of outcome you can expect when cooking anything).

Really, I should say that Aria made this cookie...because she totally did!  I put the ingredients into the bowl and she mixed it (and snacked)....but only until we added the flour, then she said it was too hard to mix.  She was so excited about it that she couldn't even keep it a secret from Dave when she told him dinner was ready...and every time the timer went off, she said "Mom!  That's our cookie!"

So without further ado....Aria's cookie :)

[The Best] Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie, courtesy of Cookies and Cups

Ingredients ("t" is teaspoon, not tablespoon)
3/4 c. butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 t. vanilla (or more if you love it)
1 egg + 1 yolk
3/4 t. baking soda
1 t. kosher salt or coarse sea salt (NOT regular table salt; don't ever use regular salt in cookies)
2 c. flour, aerated (aerating your flour is important folks...just give it a good whisk right in the container before scooping)
As much chocolate chips/chunks as you want...whole bag if you choose

1.  Preheat that oven to 350° (or whatever your oven needs to be set to actually register 350 on a thermometer)
2.  In a large bowl, mix together the sugars and the butter with a wooden spoon (no need for a mixer here folks) until there are no lumps
3.  Add vanilla and eggs and mix until well incorporated
4.  Add baking soda, salt, and flour and mix until well blended and there are no spots of raw flour left
5.  Fold in chocolate chips (I used chunks and it was phenomenal), save some out to put on top
6.  Spread evenly into well-greased skillet and top with remaining chips (if any)
7.  Bake for 20 minutes
8.  Remove from oven and place pan on top of open cooling rack to cool for AT LEAST 10 minutes
***After 10 minutes, I was not satisfied with the doneness of mine and put it back in the oven (even though I had already turned it off, it was still warm) for another 7 minutes.
9.  The cookie should appear just slightly loose, but not jiggly in the middle and will have crisp golden outer edges
10.  Serve warm with a tall glass of cold milk...YUM!

She loves to help mommy bake! She even remembered to hold the bowl half the time and didn't get batter all over the place for once!

The cookie (with an entire bag of dark chocolate chunks, minus what Aria ate) prior to baking

After baking (and yes, partially eaten)

Oh man....it's so good!!

If you've got a cast iron skillet and you like cookies, then make this thing, like, yesterday!  The inside is still just slightly underdone (you can cook it longer if you don't like gooey cookies) and it's absolutely delicious and should be eaten with a fork because it's so damn good.  Put some vanilla ice cream on it and chow down y'all!

(Now you're dying for a chocolate chip cookie aren't you?  You're welcome!!)

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